Friday, January 25, 2008

Travis Bickle's mohawk is a wig!

It's true - I've seen it with my own eyes, a little stripe of fur in a glass case along the wall, right next to the denture-looking chunks of plastic Marlon Brando wore inside his face for The Godfather. Just a few of the many revelations this past weekend at the excellent Museum of the Moving Image. (Looking for the link just now I see that George Romero Himself will be there in February. Sweet.) I was surprised and a little disappointed to learn that Method Acting doesn't include hair and teeth. I mean, jeez, DeNiro, I thought you were supposed to be committed.

Brenda drove in from Boston on Thursday night. I met her at the New Museum.... Admission is free on Thursdays, and it's a good thing, too; the knowledge that I'd given them no money was all that kept me from spontaneously combusting out of sheer annoyance. Exhibits included a crumpled-up plastic bag on the floor; pieces of cardboard glued together into the shapes of houses and painted white; and a pile of thrift-store clothes we weren't even allowed to try on.

Maybe I was just in a bad mood. I'd had a cold all week. To be fair, the bookstore is outstanding.

We consoled ourselves with cheap falafel and a trudge through the rainy streets in search of entertainment. And guess who we saw? No kidding: Marcellus Hall! Right there on the street corner. But I didn't notice him until too late, and besides he was surrounded by girls, so I just swooned internally a little bit and kept on walking. We found the Bulgarian disco, where Eugene Hutz (my boyfriend) of Gogol Bordello sometimes DJs on Thursday nights, but it was too early, so instead we went into the Cake Shop because it looked warm. The Cake Shop is a cake shop but also a microscopic record store and occasional indie-rock venue. I got a hot toddy in the World's Largest Coffee Mug, and Brenda got a slab of cake the size of a minivan. The guy next to me kept staring at the cake; later he told me he had quit smoking three days earlier. Maybe that explains it.

We flipped through the CDs (you remember those); they had a copy of the Starvations for three bucks, but I already own it. Then we went back to Mehanata, the Bulgarian bar, but Hutz was not there. It was hilarious anyway. I love watching people dance. It reinforces the wisdom of my policy never to do so myself (barring extraordinary circumstances and/or tequila).

Next day we drove out to Queens and dug the Museum of the Moving Image, which restored my faith in museums (though shook it a little in the acting department). It was fun to be driven around. We ate lunch in Jackson Heights, at the famed Jackson Diner, an Indian buffet. Jackson Heights is basically fifteen ethnic neighborhoods crammed into two blocks. You can go from Ecuador to Bangladesh to Mexico in five seconds. The Jackson Heights Historic District (much bigger than two blocks) was a planned community starting around 1917; it's famous for its giant brick apartment buildings with fancy manicured private gardens. They look like the older dorms at Reed.

We explored a bit, then ditched the car back at my place and took the subway into Manhattan. Friday is pay-what-you-want at most of the museums, so we hit the ICP and the Whitney, both pretty good. The big draw at the Whitney was the Kara Walker retrospective, and it justified the hype. The mood in the museum was all very serious, and you weren't allowed to laugh even at the parts that were funny. Back in Brooklyn Heights we met Brenda's friend Amy and went to a place that had -- believe it! -- Rogue Chocolate Stout on tap.

I spent the rest of the weekend reading comix for a review due this week and finishing John Reed's book on the Russian Revolution. School started Tuesday. And here we are.


  1. Anonymous2:48 PM

    Gogol Bordello in Denver next month. Worth the ticket?


  2. YES! You must go. Get tix in advance. Bring that brother-in-law of yours, too. They have never done a less than awesome show. Get close enough to catch the dancing girls when they ride the bass drum out into the crowd. And say hello to Eugene's mustache for me.

  3. You mean that blood on Travis DeNiro's hand is also fake? What a scam! I thought that film was a documentary! I'm dumping my VHS, DVD, poster, and internal memory of "Taxi Driver" immediately....

    Thankfully my next favorite film, "X-Men," is irrefutably true in every possible way. You gonna try telling me that Wolverine's fist blades aren't real? Forget it.


  4. Anonymous3:35 PM

    I remember watching this making of documentary that came with a special edition VHS of Taxi Driver I got like 15 years ago. They said he had wanted to shave his head but couldn't because he had some other role to do right after Taxi Driver completed filming.